NORWAY – Sarah Shepley and Kate Goldberg want to make a difference in the lives of girls.

“They’re fed such a diet of what girls should be that they get disconnected from who they are,” Goldberg said. In order to help girls reconnect – to themselves, their role-models and their peers – the two women designed the Tapestry Project.

The project debuted in Bethel last year and comes to the Oxford Hills area this fall in order to reach more girls. In a series of workshops, the project helps girls to explore their public and private identities, develop effective communication skills, and connect with positive role-models.

Last year nine girls enrolled in the program. Shepley and Goldberg had aimed to have a group of 12, and hope to reach that goal in the larger Oxford Hills area. Girls who enroll this year will have a slightly different experience than the girls in Bethel had last year as the organizers strive to make the program as effective as it can be.

Goldberg said that this year there will be a greater focus on leadership. Projects like journal making and creating masks that represent the private or public face each girl shows the world will be given more time than physical activities. Girls will be encouraged to identify “muses,” women around them who exemplify characteristics they hope to have. Muses from the community will work with the girls, as dancer Karen Montanaro did last year.

Learning to communicate effectively and assertively will also return this year.

“I really think that had a lasting impression,” Shepley said. As they looked at how they communicate last year, “girls opened up and started sharing,” she said. “They start to hear each other’s stories and know that they’re not alone.”

Molly Siegel of Bethel was 11 when she participated in the program last year. She said that the overnight canoe trip at the end of the program was one of the coolest things she did. The nine girls spent the day canoeing and then slept in a geodesic dome, which Goldberg said was “the cat’s pajamas” for most of the girls.

Siegel would recommend that girls in the Oxford Hills join the program. “If you like doing art and other things, this is really fun,” she said.

For more information, parents may contact Goldberg at 824-3459 or Shepley at 743-0167. The program will run one Saturday a month from September to June. A fee of $15 per month covers materials and a healthy snack.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.